20140715_seoulbeats_park_ji_yoon_yoohoo2Five months after her homage to ’70s American funk music, Mystic89 vocalist Park Ji Yoon welcomes the summer with one of the happiest songs I’ve heard in some time. It’s quite a departure from her last hit, which was a down and funky farewell to a love gone sour. As summer reaches its peak, “Yoo Hoo” is a gloriously bright and refreshing piece of pop.

The music video is just as fun and shiny as the song itself. In it, Ji Yoon has gone on her own little scavenger hunt. She’s got her trusty camera (a Nikon FM3A), a comfy pair of shoes and a vintage minivan, and she’s on the road to discover some of what nature has to offer. It’s a gorgeous MV with even more amazing landscapes. It acts as a faux lyric video, as each picture she takes is accompanied by a keyword describing what’s in the picture or what that particular moment made her feel — shells, wind, sea, peace.

As the credits roll, we see Ji Yoon walking through the forest, humming to herself. It’s such a beautiful moment of inner peace and tranquility that one wishes to be in the video with her, simply exploring the world around and enjoying the summer sun, the bursts of refreshing wind, the salty sweetness of the sea air.

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“Yoo Hoo” is one of the rare songs that has a video that matches the lyrics. There’s no dramatic narrative or lavish sets and costumes. This is a simple video with an even simpler song that dares the audience to put on a pair of sandals, grab a backpack, and exist in the moment.

The lyrics speak to the spontaneity of summer and the urge to go out and experience the world at its brightest. It’s a gorgeous track that fits the fullness of Ji Yoon’s voice as well as the versatility of her tone. With lyrics and production by Yoon Jong-shin and Shin Jae-pyeong of the Peppertones, the song was destined for a fun, spritely atmosphere.

Lyrically “Yoo Hoo” speaks of waking up to the brightness of the sun brushing the last bits of twilight from your eyelids, the heaviness of sleep dusted away, so that you can greet the day in all its splendor: “It’s the early morning, I haven’t slept well. A surprising sun shine attracted my heart away. I got excited.” Then once you’ve decided to become part of the waking world, you grab your gear and head out to embrace all the day has to offer to you. In the course of your adventure, of course, there are moments when you’ll get lost, have no idea where you’re going or where the road is taking you. But that’s okay. As long as you’ve got legs to walk with and a sturdy camera to capture all those moments along the way, there’s not a thing that should stop you from your goal of complete happiness.

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“Yoo Hoo” is very clearly just a summer song with a summery MV to highlight its lyrics. However, there’s a message here, one that we should all take with us as summer starts its descent into autumn. Now is the time to shake off our fears. It’s the time for exploring those things we were too afraid or too busy for in the newness of spring, or even back in the frost of winter.

Each season has its theme, an inevitable “purpose,” if you will, in our lives. Winter carries the burden of being a season for gathering, the responsibility to prepare for the year ahead. Spring brings the thrush of new things, new beginnings, the opportunity to start anew. Summer is that moment when we have a chance to breathe, to allow the world to move and, if we dare to, for us to move along with it. It’s a time of exploration, of sunshine, of heat and happiness. “Yoo Hoo” opens us up to the pure happiness of being alive and on this glorious planet for another day, and Park Ji Yoon gifts us with a visual record of her experiences.

Song Rating: 4.25/5
MV Rating: 4.5/5

(Youtube, Kashigasa)